Friday, August 15, 2008

Reality Check

Recently, the Center for American Progress published an article that highlighted the realities of elderly poverty. As you know, we at EESI have worked tirelessly to bring this issue to the forefront, so we appreciate this effort as well. The article, titled, Elder Poverty: The Challenge Before Us, provides some background on the economic status of America's seniors and also some data analysis on social programs and demographics. Some of the tidbits I found to be most interesting are listed below:

[] Women ages 75 and up are over three times as likely to be living in poverty as men in the same age range. Only 416,000 men in this age range live at or below the poverty line, while over 1.3 million women ages 75 and up are poor.

[] If the monetary benefits from all public programs were excluded from their incomes, more than 6 in 10 African American and Hispanic American elderly would be poor.

[] Rural elderly have higher rates of poverty than the urban elderly, and rural areas tend to have a higher percentage of elderly in their total population than their urban counterparts.

[] According to 2006 U.S. Department of Agriculture data, almost 18 percent of low-income elderly (with incomes below 130 percent of the poverty line) who live with others are food insecure, as are more than 12 percent of low-income seniors who live alone.

If you are interested in more facts and figures regarding the economic status of seniors in America, please make sure to visit the Elder Economic Security Initiative webpages - there we have provided numerous publications and resources for both personal and public use, including the Elder Economic Security Stanadard Index which benchmarks the cost of living for older Americans based on their locality.

Comments Please: What kind of resources/data have you found useful as elder issues become increasingly significant in social policy?

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